Absolutely nothing! One does not have anything to do with the other. What was meant to be an artistic photo shoot for Vanity Fair turned out to be a topic of heated debate on social media. She was labeled as “hypocritical” in her stance for feminism just because she decided to expose part of her breasts. “She complains that women are sexualised and then sexualises herself in her own work. Hypocrisy,” tweeted radio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer.
Maturing from Hermione to Belle in @beautyandthebeast is a true coming-of-age story for @EmmaWatson: "I couldn't care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that I felt was important for people to hear." Read the full cover story at the link in bio. Photograph by Tim Walker.
Comments like that prove that there is still a lot of misunderstanding of what feminism really means. “I don’t understand why people have an idea they can tell a woman what she can and can’t do and I agree with Emma that critics have missed the point,” said Victoria Jenkinson, a member of Girlguiding, a leading UK charity for young women. “A woman should be able to choose what she wants to do. This is what feminism is all about in 2017.”
And that includes choosing if and when she wants to get married, have kids, take birth control, be a corporate figure or a homemaker, pursue a career she loves, practice her own beliefs, and wearing whatever the heck she wants! Life is hard enough on all of us as it is, we don’t need to tear each other down for our life choices.
The controversy sparked by just this one image just goes to show that our culture is still not ready for a woman who can be both sexy and serious at the same time. How can one photo, which was meant to be an expression of self, completely disregard and invalidate all that Watson has fought for throughout her career? From her appointment as a United Nation Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and her HeForShe campaign to inspire men to be agents of change in reducing the gender gap, to her feminist book club Our Shared Shelf to empower and educate members about female equality, Watson has been a driving force of change in feminism.
We women are tired of having our voices taken from us. Our freedom of expression. Our right to be ourselves, wholly and freely. Expressing our bodies and being a feminist should not be mutually exclusive. We don’t need permission to be the capable, sassy, multi-talented and independent women we are. Period.